Manor Park Cemetery

Birds of Manor Park Cemetery

In a list of birds known to have been seen in Manor Park Cemetery as of July 1996, 42 species were totalled. Twenty years later, in 2016, my own observations - made from very infrequent visits to the cemetery but with the advantage of being able to view it from my home - some changes were evident. Here follows a list of the birds that I know of. Others, surely, wil be or have been present, and doubtless local "birders" will be aware of these.

The most dramatic changes, perhaps, has been the loss of Bullfinch, Tree Creeper, House Martin, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch, and the gain of Ring-necked Parakeets.

1996 - 2016 - comparison list with comments

Blackbird A common and consistent species, no real change of status noted
Blackcap It was unusual in 1996 to see these during the winter, but is not uncommon in more recent years. Common in Summer
Blue Tit Coomon and consistent through the years
Bullfinch Although never a frequent bird, one could be seen occasionaly back in 1996. I haven't seen one locally for many years
Carrion Crow As frequent as ever, and often nests in the trees lining the north edge of the cemetery
Chaffinch Quite frequently seen or heard. No change in status noted
Chiffchaff Common from Spring through summer, and occasionally seen during winter months
Coal Tit These were never a numerous species, but could regularly be seen. In recent years they have become quite rare.
Collared Dove Frequently seen or heard; no real change of status noted
Common Whitethroat In the years around 1996 these were not infrequently present during the summer months, and in Autumn were one of a few species that would annualy "line up" on a long-wire aerial prior to departing. They are still to be seen, but less frequently
Dunnock No real change of status noted
Feral Pigeon No real change of status noted; probably over the years there local presence has depended a lot on whether food-stuff is put out which they find convenient
Firecrest Only occasional sightings of this species through the years, but possibly more frequent now.
Goldcrest No real change of status noted.
Goldfinch This species in the last two or so years seems to have increased substantially, although they have always been quite frequent
Great Tit Common, and with no real change of status noted
Greenfinch Common, and with no real change of status noted
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Usually present at times through the years, although possibly more frequent nowadays, making more use of adjacent gardens
Green Woodpecker A frequently heard or seen species, with no real change of status noted
House Martin In the years around 1996 House Martins would be extremely common feeding over the cemetery and adjacent gardens. There were nests on many of the houses in Capel Road, but this is no longer the case. Ther are no nests and it is unusual even to see a martin over the cemetery
House Sparrow These, as is well known, became very scarce through the years. However in the last five or so, the numbers have increased significantly. They exist in what seem to be discreet groups alnong the length of Capel Road, some feeding at times in the cemetery
Jay A frequent user of the cemetery; no real change of status noted
Kestrel This is another species which seems locally to be less common than before, although there is often one to be seen on nearby Wanstead Flats. Not distinctly noted in the cemetery, but almost certain to visit at times.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker This was never a common species, but it is rare now and I haven't seen one in the cemetery for a long time
Linnet Probably as always just a winter visitor, passing through
Long-tailed Tit A common bird with no real change of status noted
Magpie Common and with no real change of status noted
Mallard Not really asuitable habitat for ducks, as there are no ponds. However, they do and always have occasionally visit, and indeed one nested one year in the cemetery just below the north wall.
Mistle Thrush A commonly enough seen or heard bird, often from the tops of the trees lining the north cemetery boundary
Moorhen As with the Mallard, no real reason for them to be here, but I have seen one in a small tree in the cemetery near my garden
Nuthatch Never a common bird, but in the 1990s not unusual, That is not the case now, and I haven't seen one for years 
Redwing As would be expected, a winter visitor sometimes seen in numbers. No real change of status noted
Ring-necked Parakeet This was an almost unheard of species during the 1990s, but numbers have increased during the last ten years. Early in this period, flocks might pass over the cemetery each day S-N in the morning, N-S in the evening. Since 2012, ther have been occasional visits to the cemetery and adjacent gardens. In 2015/6 six birds are frequently seen.
Robin Common as always
Song Thrush Numbers have declined over the years, but in all years these have been heard
Sparrowhawk Occasionally seen attempting a kill. No real change of status noted
Starling Numbers declined since the 1990s, but in the last few years have risen, with flocks visiting to feed from Wanstead Flats
Swallow These were a species that would assemble on my aerial during Autumn in the '90s, but only occasionally glimpsed now.
Swift Not in the cemetery of course, but the most common Hirundine over it these days
Tree Creeper As with the Nuthatch, never a common bird, but in the 1990s not unusual, I haven't seen one for years in the cemetery or adjacent gardens
Willow Warbler Another of the Autumn "aerial" birds. Never as common as the Chiffchaff, but now rarely even heard.
Woodpigeon Common as ever, and young ones often seen
Wren Common, with no real change of status noted

 

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